The 2020 holiday season is no longer approaching—it’s already here.
Prime Day in October kickstarted what is now a three-month-long span of promotions and deals on the marketplace and an unprecedented gifting season.
While the holiday season is always a peak time for Amazon sellers to rev up sales, 2020 introduces even more opportunity to come out on top given consumers’ increased reliance on eCommerce throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently classified Black Friday and Cyber Monday in-store shopping as a “higher-risk” activity. Additionally, a survey by RetailMeNot found that 75% of consumers prefer online shopping this year, and 60% plan to spend the same amount or more compared to the 2019 holiday season.
With spiking eCommerce sales, Amazon sellers have a lot to gain—but only if they are fully prepared. We spoke with Joe Hesketh, Director of Client Success at ClearCut Analytics, to gather some key tips for brands selling on Amazon to successfully optimize holiday sales and enter 2021 with a higher reward.
1- Prioritize Content
Joe first shares that brands should prioritize content on their storefront page and on product detail pages. Content ranges from high-quality product images, thumbnail and infographics, to SEO-rich titles and bullet points. Plus, sellers who take advantage of “Enhanced Brand Content” (EBC), such as its enhanced visuals and modified text for explaining products’ value proposition, will further capture the attention of buyers.
According to Amazon, EBC typically leads to a 5% or more increase in conversions for those that use it—and during the holidays, this 5% increase translates to a potentially massive uptick in captured revenue.
Test which content works, and which doesn’t. Brands that do so will be better prepared to win sales in the coming months according to Joe’s findings. A/B testing and doing continuous content improvements throughout the year makes all the difference. Even simple tactics, like putting a holiday bow on the hero image should be tested and verified!
2- Anticipate More Delays and Stock-Up
The next tip for brands is to expect shipping delays. Joe maintains that we’ve already seen a consistent increase in shipping delays related to the pandemic and a disrupted supply chain, which will presumably continue escalating with the coming season and influx of online purchases. Brands selling on Amazon should be prepared to ship earlier than ever and respond quickly and appropriately to customer reviews condemning a product’s delay of arrival whenever necessary.
Also, if brands have not yet forecasted inventory needed for the holiday season, this must be expedited NOW— taking into account a wider consumer base than initially anticipated. Running out of product inventory is a holiday nightmare for sellers, as it takes a substantial amount of time to re-stock items and sellers will undoubtedly miss out on peak days to optimize holiday sales.
3- Take Advantage of the Holi-“Months” (versus Holi-“Days”)
Another tip that Joe stresses is for brands to take advantage of a continuous holiday season, not always defined by marquee days and that will extend into 2021. Singularly defined sales days such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday, for example, will surely bring abundant sales, but it’s imperative for sellers to focus on offering deals and boosting their advertising in between those days. Take for example “Turkey Five.”
In 2019, online sales actually grew at a faster rate on Thanksgiving, Saturday, and Sunday than on Cyber Monday and Black Friday.
If sellers are looking to optimize revenue, Joe says to not feel constrained, but get creative and run deals often. Cost-per-click (CPC) will likely increase, so brands will need to make sure to anticipate this and diligently monitor ad spend – leaning in when the return on spending is worth it or throwing in the towel when the competition is too challenging.
A final word of counsel from Joe to ensure success: the holiday season isn’t over on December 25. Brands selling on Amazon should be prepared for increased sales to roll over into January 2021 with promotions such as “New Year, New You” where consumers transition from buying for others and begin thinking how they can better themselves in the new year. Similar to the typical holiday surge, brands should be prepared with enough inventory, the right content, and a plethora of promotions and deals to capitalize on this hot period for buying.
In short, keeping these trends and insights in mind will set brands up for both an advantageous and rewarding holiday selling season. Should you have additional questions regarding these insights on how to optimize holiday sales, the ClearCut Analytics team is ready to answer them! Please contact us here.